Traditional Architecture, Design and Documentation

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

St. Paul's Interior Architecture

We are in the final weeks of exterior construction on St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westerville, Ohio.  

As winter months settle in, the focus will be on interior construction and finishes.  Much thought and meaning goes into interior architecture and material selection for a church, as liturgical architecture can enhance ones religious experience through the narration of religious stories interpreted in the form and ornamentation of a building.

Dr. Denis McNamara, in his book Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy, offers tremendous insight on how liturgical art and architecture should reflect heaven and earth united. 

He writes-
"Liturgical art and architecture are about the conveying of information about God and humanity's relationship to him in the sacred liturgy.  Central to this relationship is God's sharing of his divine life with his creation, and so liturgical architecture works as the image of heavenly realities: all is glorified, all is restored, all is radiant with grace.  Styles, movements, and fads in architecture are relevant only to the degree that the theological content which they express is made clear."

Through Dr. McNamara's teaching, we understand and believe interior architecture should reflect "not nature as it exists today, in its fallen condition, but nature as it will exist at the end of time - when it's completely restored and glorified." 

Based on this belief, below are some of the custom interior designs which symbolize the man the church was named after - St. Paul the Apostle. 

This is a mock-up of the large and small custom column capitals which will be used throughout the church.  The sword found in the capital is a symbol of St. Paul taking his faith around the world and conquering ignorance.  The book symbolizes St. Paul as a great author of biblical letters.  

Below is the custom pew end design including a tripartite window motif, which is a holy trinity symbol. 

This is the mock-up of the custom church pew end.


The above ceiling design represents that even creation will be glorified at the end of time.  The stars are not portrayed as timid, but rather most radiant and glorious.  The orderly geometric pattern of the stars speaks of their glorification and represents proportion and order.

A 3D rendering of what the interior will look like upon completion.


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